Saturday, 28 December 2013 tree hill......

I like this tree, it sits on its own by the roadside on Dunkery Hill. It has appeared to me through mist and I've ridden by it in glorious sunshine and driving rain.

Ridden the road bike a couple of times this week, once past this tree the other time not. That's this year over cycling wise I think, achieved so much this year, thank you to those who helped me make it.

I like this tree, think it's the bleak but statuesque beautiful loneliness of it..........

Thursday, 26 December 2013 less biscuits....ride up hills........


Saturday, 21 December 2013

........the path I walk's in the wrong direction........

Went out on the road bike last week, the weather forecast was a bit dodgy but I wanted to get up the Toll road one last time before the year was out. You can break up the ride up into two really, the first half just past the toll house is nice and sheltered in the trees and I did my best time of the year. The second half is more exposed and if the wind is in the wrong direction it's hard going, and it was. Once up and after catching my breath I went straight back down, battling across the moors in the wind didn't appeal. Did a loop around some lanes and a sprint down the seafront, the wind in my favour this time.

This week I've been mainly mountain biking, wet,windy and freezing cold on the road bike didn't appeal so I rode up some hills on the big green bike for a couple of days. Quite pleased with how I've progressed this year with my fitness. Eighteen mile mtb rides used to be a major expedition and take most of the day but now I just want to keep riding, what used to be two separate rides I'm now doing as one.

On Thursday I did a loop which took in some hard climbs, even trickier when its wet, muddy and still mulchy out on the trail. It's a balancing act going up hill on the mtb, trying to keep your weight distributed, fighting to keep the front end down whilst the back wheel is slipping did get a bit annoying and led to some expletives. Whacked my shin slipping off, it smarted, didn't cry though.

Lucky with the weather again though but it was cold on top of the hill before heading back to home. A herd of Exmoor ponies came and said hello though which was nice., went like this.

On Friday I went in the opposite direction but just went where the mood took me. I did consider keeping low and riding some lower paths but that doesn't make sense so headed up then down Dunster Path to the red mud. Went this way to see how I fared on the fireroad slog up after riding yesterday, not my quickest but did it, nearly 6000ft of climbing in 36 miles, is that classed as hill repeats?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 say to me I don't talk enough but when I do I'm a fool......

A tragic teenage hero of mine once said "When taking a journey, it's not about the getting there, it's enjoying the view on the way" I enjoyed the view today......

I did a usual loop but was feeling really good so extended it a bit more, so glad I did because it meant I got some more images.

Actually felt strong on the bike today don;t know why but enjoyed it, went something like this.......

Thursday, 5 December 2013

........can you hear the silence?...........

I've been neglecting the blog a bit lately and riding my mtb so I thought I'd put both of those straight today. I have been riding though and meeting interesting people so although the keys have been idle I haven't. With my rest days falling during the week and a last minute window in my good friend Jennifer's schedule, I grabbed the opportunity to visit her and ride some of that flat stuff last Wednesday. Nice riding around the levels a real haven for birds, swans, herons, starlings the odd magpie and even a partridge but no pear tree :) We rode some of those long straight roads they like around there but thankfully with little wind, stopped for coffee, chatted and even found a hill to ride up on the way back.

Yesterday started a bit damp but I had to get out so did a quick loop on the road bike, it wasn't too bad and was glad I got out. Still lots of colour about but as a friend of mine commented about this photo, winters coming over the hill :)

In the afternoon I was invited to lunch by the lovely Elke who promotes all things good on Exmoor through her Exmoor4all website. She had organised a Christmas lunch for some Exmoor business folk and kindly invited me along too as I always try to show how wonderful it is around here through the blog. The location was The Culbone, a pleasure to get to as it means driving up and along Porlock hill with great views to enjoy on the way. The food was excellent and so was the company, nice to meet people I sort of knew through twitter and some new people too.

So to today, very windy so definite mtb day, getting blown across the road on the road bike didn't appeal at all. The usual slog up to Hopcott but sheltered and the trails were dry after this cold snap and rapid progress to the top of Grabbist hill with the wind behind me. Although it was dry the tracks are covered in leaves and hide roots, rocks and toxic dog leftovers, luckily just the odd stone whacked me in the shin today.

I went for a loop around the Crown estate woodland on the other side of Dunster, hard going in the wind on the exposed climb up and around Black Hill to the trig point. The descent was very quick but a bit boring on the fireroads but once nearer Dunster I rode some more interesting tracks before heading back up Grabbist Hill.

After negotiating the ascent of Grabbist I headed back up the ridge and down some of my favourite tracks back towards home, felt good, rode up stuff, not a bad ride at all.